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If you didn't have money to feed your family

post #1 of 55
Thread Starter 
Are you ever surprised at the things people with little or no (or negative) money spend their money on?

I'm not sure I'm phrasing that very well. We recently (accidentally) found out that some people we know have a LOT of debt. We knew they didn't have much money, but the debt came as a big surprise. The thing that bothers me is that a while ago I heard the husband saying how he would never in his life give up cable no matter how little money they had. They have cable, and DVR, and they eat out quite a bit (mostly fast food), and yet they receive money from his parents, and their church for food and to cover their bills.

I'd like to think if I didn't have money to feed my family I would be willing to take money from elsewhere to buy groceries. Maybe I'm being judgmental since TV is not my thing, and I'm pretty frugal to begin with.
post #2 of 55
Groceries would come higher on my priority list than tv service.
post #3 of 55
Nothing surprises me anymore.

I have people come in, and pay all but 20 on their mortgage. Because they need that $20 to buy cigarettes. And then get mad when they come in the next week and have to pay a $40 late charge.

They don't realize if it is not paid in full, it is delinquent and per the contract, that they sign, a late fee will be added.
post #4 of 55
It would take a lot for us to give up directv, but food definitely comes first (and before I get outside help)
post #5 of 55
IMO, we would try every possibility within our means (canceling tv, internet, phones, etc) before we would accept outside help. I think that is what church money and gifts are supposed to be. We have a family that is essentially homeless (they live with the mother's, mother's ex-boyfriend, does that make sense?). The husband doesn't work, the mother works very little, yet they are always smoking, drinking, and just the other day, they went to an amusement park that my family has never been to, because we can't afford it! People never cease to amaze me.
post #6 of 55
I am not surprised at their behavior because I see a lot of that too. However, I think it is bad to prioritize cable and eating out ahead of providing for your family. It is also disrespecting the parents who are giving them money to help as well as the church members who donate money to them who I imagine are thinking that the money is going for essentials, not fast food and cable.
One of my big goals is to make sure that my kids understand prioritizing money and learn to make good monetary decisions. Learning to be frugal would be good too.
post #7 of 55
We would cut out everything before going to an outside source for help with groceries. By that, I mean, cable, internet, cell phones and we each have $25 a month to spend on our hobbies and/or haircuts. For the most part, we stay home as much as possible to avoid using more gas, we stretch our clothing dollars until they cry, stretch out times between haircuts, use the library for movies and most books, etc.

I am appalled by the decisions people make where we live. 85% of kids in our district qualify for free lunches and breakfasts. Their parents send them in not having eaten anything at all. They don't even send in the snack requested by the teachers to help get the kids through the morning until lunch. But, these kids come to school dressed in the latest, greatest and most expensive clothing you can imagine. Fubu, Sean John, Air Jordans, Timberland, etc. It's not unusual to see parents driving BMW's, Lexus SUV's, etc., but they use the free breakfast/lunch program at school because they "supposedly" can't afford to feed their kids. I don't get the priorities AT ALL.
post #8 of 55
Hmmm...sounds like our neighbors. He lost his job 3 months ago and they get food stamps, medicaid and they are always ordering pizza or going out to eat, buying new electronics. It is ridiculous. It's not like he's out looking for work. They just sit on their butts and bum around. They have 3 kids and it is sad b/c that is what they are learning to do. They have cable too b/c I always see it on when I pull in. I would be cutting cable and internet if I didn't have enough money to buy food. Those people giving assistance are just enabling them to continue their irresponsible behavior. I am sure my kids qualify for free or reduced lunches, but it is so cheap to pack. That program should be for those who really need it.
post #9 of 55
I wouldn't have a second thought about getting rid of cable, internet, phones, whatever if I needed the money for groceries. I can't imagine people thinking that those things are more important than food for their family.
post #10 of 55
I just found out our neighbors owe more than $15,000 in overdue mortgage payments....they just enjoyed a 2 week trip down to disney world though Yet they are always complaining about the cost of milk, gas, etc. Obviously their priorities are somewhat wacked

The thing that bothers me the most (and that I see all the time) is when people purchase cigarettes over necessities for their children. At the grocery store the other day a woman put back milk, diapers, and childrens tylenol so that she could afford to get her carton of cigs, makes me so angry
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